LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. ' i|apM-. §m^^ l0i231:>J I UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE LAWS AND ETIQUETTE OF CINCH COMPILED AND EDITED The Chicago Cinch Club, CHICAGO, Copyrighted 1891 BY The Chicago Cinch Club. Slason Thompson & Co., Chicago. Preface. Cinch, as it is now piayed, is by far the most entertaining and scientific of all the offsprings of the game of Seven-up. Tak- ing its proper place amongst club card games but a short time ago, it has become more popular than all others, and to the end that uniformity of play may generally exist, the following rules have been com- piled and submitted to the best known Cinch players, and accepted and endorsed by them as properly governing all points that have arisen in the game or that may at any time become a matter of controversy. The Chicago Cinch Club. December isth, 1890. THE LAWS OF CINCH. 1. Cinch is played with a pack of fifty- two cards, and two, three or four persons can play at one time. 2. The game consists of forty-two points and the player or players first scoring that number win the game. TWO AND THREE HANDED. 3. The players cut for deal, the lowest card having the deal, the Ace being the lowest card in cutting. The player entitled to the deal shall, after the cards have been properly shuffled and cut, give nine cards to each player, three at a time, and in regular rotation to the left. No trump is turned. 6 THE LAWS OF CINCH. 4. The pack must be shuffled above the table and so that the face of no card can be seen. 5. Each player has a right to shuffle, once only. The dealer has always the right to shuffle last. Should any card be seen during his shuffling or whilst giving the pack to be cut, he can be compelled to re-shuffle. 6. Each player deals in his turn; the right of dealing goes to the left. 7. The player on the dealer's right is compelled to cut, and in so doing must not leave fewer than four cards in either packet. If in cutting or in replacing the packets one upon the other a card be exposed, or if there be any doubt as to the exact place in which the pack was divided, there shall be a fresh cut. 8. If the dealer deals without having the cards properly cut, or if a card is faced in the pack, or if the dealer in any way THE LAWS OF CINCH. 7 expose any of his adversary's cards, or if he give to any player too few or too many cards, there must be a fresh deal. If the dealer expose any of his own cards, the deal stands good. 9. A dealer does not lose- his deal w^hen a misdeal occurs. 10. If at any time during the deal or play of the hand the pack be proved to be incorrect or imperfect, a new deal shall be made and no points scored; or if any card be^faced in the pack, there must be a new deal; or should a dealer omit to have the pack cut to him, and the adversary dis- cover the error prior to the last three cards being dealt, and before looking at their cards, a new deal can be claimed by them. 11. If during the play of a hand it is discovered that any player, other than the dealer, has too many or too few cards, it shall constitute a misdeal. Should the dealer's hand be found imperfect, he shall 8 THE LAWS OF CINCH. be called upon to discard all beyond what he is entitled to, or draw from the discard pile enough cards to complete his hand, but he can not take up any trumps from the discard to make his hand good. 12. If before the deal is completed or a card led by the buyer of the trump privilege it is discovered that the cards are being dealt out of turn, it shall constitute a mis- deal, and the player whose turn it is to deal shall re-shuffle the cards and deal; but if the deal has been completed and a card led and quitted by the player naming the trump, the party dealing shall have established his right to the deal and the game shall continue, and the player to the left of the dealer shall take the next deal. 13. The following are the points that can be scored and are given in their regular order of precedence: High. — The highest trump out. The holder scores 1 point. THE LAWS OF CINCH. 9 Low. — The lowest trump out. The win- ner of the trick containing it scores 1 point. Jack. — The knave of trumps. The win- ner of the trick containing it scores 1. point. Game. — The ten-spot of trumps. The winner of the trick containing it scores 1 point. Pedro. — The five-spot of trumps. The winner of the trick containing it scores 5 points. Cinch. — The five-spot of the opposing suit (same color as the trump). The win- ner of the trick containing it scores 5 points. Low can be taken by any trump. Jack can be taken with any higher trump. Game can be taken with any higher trump. Pedro can be taken with any higher trump. 10 THE LAWS OF CINCH. Cinch can be taken with any trump higher than the four-spot. Thus 14 points can be made in a single 'deal. 14. The loser of a game has the option of the first deal in the next game. 15. After the cards have been dealt, as per rule No. 3, the eldest hand (the player to the left of the dealer) proceeds to bid for the privilege of naming the trump; each player in turn has the right to make one bid and no more. 16. The bidding proceeds in rotation, be- ginning with the eldest hand. The dealer has the right to the last say and may either sell to the highest bidder or decline to sell, in which latter case he is forced to raise the bid and names the trump himself. 17. A player whose bid has been ac- cepted commences the play, and, after naming the trump, discards from his hand to the center of the table, faces up, three THE LAWS OF CINCH. 11 or more cards as he may elect, the other players having the same privilege, the dealer discarding last. The dealer is then called upon by the different players who have discarded more than three cards to help them to as many cards as they have discarded in excess of three, or enough to complete a hand of six cards, that being the number that each player must hold when the play commences. The cards are helped in the order of the deal, the eldest hand (the one first to the left of the dealer) being helped first. 18. The deal being now completed, the player naming the trump must lead, but a trump lead is not compulsory. Each player, beginning with the player to the left of the leader, plays a card to the lead, and when all the players have played, that constitutes a trick. The player taking the trick shall then lead for the next trick. 19. Each player must follow suit if he 12 THE LAWS OF CINCH. can, unless he choose to trump. If he has no card of the suit led, he is not compelled to trump, but may play a card of any suit he chooses. The highest card of the suit led, unless trumped, wins the trick, and the winner of the trick has the next lead. 20. The playing proceeds in this way until all the cards held by each player have been played. After the hands are all played, the points are properly scored and a new deal commences. This continues until forty-two points have been scored by some pla3^er or side, 21. The player buying the privilege of naming the trump is entitled to score all the points he may make; but if he fail to make as many points as the amount bid by him, he must be set back just the number of points bid — he cannot score anything he may have made during the play of that hand. 22. The amount bid by a player for the THE LAWS OF CINCH. 13 privilege of naming the trump is not scored by any of the other players, but is simply held against the bidder as a set-back pen- alty in the case of a failure to win the number of points he elects to by his bid. 23. If no bid is made by the other play- ers, the dealer is forced to bid one and name the trump. 24. The buyer of the trump privilege is entitled to add to his score all points that may be found in the discard pile after the play of the hand, as it is fair to presume the error in discard v/as made by the adversaries. 25. If any player, under the impression that the game is either won, or lost, or for any other reason, throws his cards on the table, face upwards, such cards are ex- posed and can be called by the opposing player or players. 26. Should any player draw a card from his hand with the intention of playing 14 THE LAWS OF CINCH. same, and in any way expose it, that card must be played unless by so doing a revoke will be made, in which case the card so drawn and exposed will be subject to call at any time. 27. Any one during the play of a trick, or after the cards are played, and before, but not after, they are touched for the pur- pose of gathering them together, may de- mand that the cards be placed before their respective pla3^ers. 28. If a bystander make any remark which calls the attention of a player or players to an oversight affecting the score, he can be called upon to pay all bets or stakes on that game. 29. A bystander, by agreement of the players, may decide any question. 30. Any player may demand to see the last trick turned and no more. 31. If a player make a revoke, he is debarred from scoring any points he ma}'' THE LAWS OF CINCH. 15 have made in the play of that hand, and all points contained in the tricks taken by him shall be scored by the buyer of the trump; if the bidder revoke, he shall be set back the number of points bid by him. 32. A revoke is established as soon as the trick in which it occurs is turned and quitted, or a card has been led for the next trick, 33. The question of *'how many cards did you draw,'* addressed to any of the players after a card has been played, is irregular, and if asked should not be an- swered. FOUR-HANDED. 34. In four-handed Cinch, the players usually decide who shall be partners by cutting the cards, the two highest playing against the two lowest. Two players cut- ting cards of equal value, unless such cards are the two highest, cut again. Should they be the two lowest, a fresh cut is ne- 16 THE LAWS OF CINCH. cessary to decide which of the two deals. 35. The partners sit opposite each other, the same as at Whist. In cutting for part- ners, the AcE is the lowest card and the player cutting the lowest card shall deal. 36. In a four-handed game (partners) the dealer discards all of his cards that are not trumps and selects what cards he desires from all of the pack that remains after the other players have been helped. Should there be more trumps in the un- dealt cards than the dealer requires to make good his hand, he selects what cards he wants and lays the remaining cards in the discard pile, faces up. If there should not be enough cards remaining after the other players have been helped to complete his hand, he shall draw cards from the discard of his own hand. 37. The discarding, etc., in a four- handed game, is governed by rule No. 17, w4th this exception — the dealer discards THE LAWS OF CINCH. 17 first. This is done that the dealer may show the strength of his hand to his part- ner, who can then use proper judgment in discarding from his hand, declining to call for any cards if he thinks that by so doing his partner's hand will be strengthened. 38. If any player lead out of turn, his adversary may either call the card so led, or may call on him or his partner to lead any suit when it is next the turn of either to lead. But if any player leads out of turn and the other players have followed him and played, the trick is complete and the error cannot be rectified. 39. If any one, prior to his partner play- ing, should call attention to the trick — either by saying it is his or by naming his card, or, without being asked to, should draw it towards him — the adversaries may require that opponent's partner to play the highest or lowest of the suit then led, or to win or lose the trick. 18 THE LAWS OF CINCH. 40. If during the bidding for the trump privilege any player should name the suit he is bidding on before the dealer has accepted his bid, or if he should in any other way give any information as to the suit he intends naming for trump, in case his bid should be accepted the dealer may call for a new deal, if he so desires, and in such an event shall not lose his deal. 41. If during the discarding from a hand, or during the drawing of cards, or if at any time during the play of a hand a player should in any way expose a trump held by him, the opposing players may either claim a new deal or exact the pen- alty incurred by exposing a card. (See Rule 26.) It is not expected that a new deal should be demanded for the uninten- tional exposure of a minor trump card, or one that could possibly have no bearing on the result of the play of the hand. The privilege of claiming a new deal should THE LAWS OF CINCH. 19 only be taken advantage of when it is ap- parent that the card exposed would convey such information to the player's partner that would or could in any way affect his play. RAZZLE-DAZZLE CINCH. This game was the outcome of the lei- sure moments of some of our representa- tives in Washington, and has the great merit of being very amusing, and can be played by four, five, or six people, making a very entertaining parlor game. The rules governing it are the same in the abstract as those governing regular Cinch, with the following differences: When five or six play the game, but six cards are originally dealt. Each player acts independently of all the other players in bidding for the trump privilege, as there are no partners, in the proper accep- tation of the term. After the trump is named, the cards all discarded and the hands all helped, as far as the undealt cards will permit, the buyer of the trump THE LAWS OF CINCH. 21 calls upon a certain card to be his partner, and the party holding that card becomes his partner for that hand only, and all the other players combine against the two, and all points made by the buyer and his call are credited to their respective scores, as in the regular game, and the points made by the opposing parties are similarly scored, each player being credited with the full number of points made by their side. Should the buyer and his call fail to make the amount bid, they are each set back the number of points bid for the trump privilege. When the play of one deal has been completed and the points scored, another deal commences by the party whose legiti- mate turn it is to deal, and the bidding goes on as before, and the buyer again calls for an}^ card he may elect to, after his discard has been made and his hand completed. 22 THE LAWS OF CINCH. If the buyer of the trump privilege feels that his hand is strong enough to make the amount bid by him, and he prefers to play without a partner, the calling and joining forces with any other player is not compulsory, but it is seldom that one hand can make a successful stand against three or four other hands. This play is continued until some one of the party has scored the required 42. If the game should be for a stake, and more than one player should score the 42 simultaneously, the stake should be di- vided amongst the successful hands, GENERAL. Little can be said in regard to the value of cards or the method of play in a two- haaded game, as an average of fully one- half the pack will remain undealt, and the points in play being always uncer- tain, many hands are purely speculative, THE LAWS OF CINCH. 23 and the non-bidder can often, by declining to draw any cards, defeat his adversary who bid more than the real value of his hand, relying upon catching points in his opponent's hand. These pretty points of play, however, are more intuitive than aught else, and no rules could ever be formulated to cover them. In a game of three hands, the object of each player remains the same as in a two or four-handed game — to make points for his own score; but if he finds he is not able to succeed in that, his next endeavor should be to do all in his power to set back the buying player, who is striving to se- cure sufficient points to make his bid good. In doing this, however, proper attention should be paid to the state of the score and the play regulated accordingly. Thus it is good policy and equitable play, when a player holds points which he finds he can- not make, to play them if possible into the 24 THE LAWS OF CINCH. hands of the player whose score is lowest, even should the lowest score belong to the bidder. All good card players are aware of the importance of affording information as to the unplayed cards they hold, and in the game of Cinch this can be done not only by your play but by your bid; the rules governing such bids and plays must be iargel}^ conventional, and subject to modifi- cations, when necessary. Thus, if you are the age hand in a game of partners, if you should hold one or more five-spots and lit- tle other strength, a bid of five would con- vey to your partner that you had a five- spot, and he could strengthen his bid if he could know what color your five-spot was, which he can often do. A single Ace, with little or no support, in the hands of the age player, always warrants a bid of six, and your partner can often know just what suit your Ace is from. On an Ace and King of THE LAWS OF CINCH. 25 a suit, with any support at all, seven can be safely bid by the first bidder. The second player, in bidding, is not called upon to recognize the legitimate value of the cards he holds, as his partner is the dealer, and having all the remaining cards to draw from, has at least one point the advantage of the other players. The third player should raise the bid of the second player, if his cards warrant it, and in most cases bid the full value of his hand and force the dealer to give the largest possible bid if he wishes to name the trump. The dealer can afford to risk more on his hand than any other player, and the state of the score and his partner's bid should govern his offer. As before stated, these rules are purely conventional, and a good player will soon learn just when to force the fighting. Proper attention should at all times be 26 THE LAWS OF CINCH. paid to the score when bidding, for, if well ahead of your adversaries, you can afford to speculate a little on your partner's hand, unless you should be within three or four points of the goal, when conservative play is both judicious and advisable. When both scores are within six or seven points of the required number, always bear in mind that the five-spot of trumps counts before the Cinch, as you can often force the play you want by losing the Cinch to your opponents. It is a difficult matter to make any analysis of leads or hands in the game of Cinch. The play of a hand depends a great deal upon the amount bid, the num- ber of trumps held by you and the strength developed in the other hands by the dis- cards. As buyer of trump, with Ace and one inferior trump, and your partner showing numerical strength by his draw, lead Ace THE LAWS OF CINCH. 27 at once to relieve your partner of any 5-spot he may hold; with Ace and King alone, if no 5-spot falls upon your Ace lead, it is frequently good play to hold your King and lead an off-suit; v/ith Ace and King and one inferior trump, or Ace and two inferior trumps, the same policy is advisable. With four strong leads and no 5-spot, you can afford to be aggressive; at the same time, if your first lead be with an Ace and your partner plays no 5-spot upon it, and he showed two or more trumps from his discard, it is good pia}^ to lead an off-suit, letting your partner utilize his trumps by heading the trick in the 3rd play, thus strengthening your ow^n hand; when this course of play is adopted, your partner should lead you an off-suit in return, and your adversaries will soon give evidence of being in trouble. If your partner has four or more trumps it is a great help to his hand to have the 28 THE LAWS OF CINCH. trumps forced, and you should lead him your best card. If the buyer of a trump finds that either of his adversaries have a greater number of trumps than he has, he should try to equalize the hands, after his first lead, by leading an ofi-suit through or up to the longest hand — provided he knows his partner to have two or more trumps — otherwise he might just as well force the opposing hands by always lead- ing his best card. A 5-spot is an element of weakness in your hand, unless well guarded, as your play is often cramped by trying to protect it. With both Cinch and Pedro in your hand and two other trumps, it is often good play to lead your Cinch at the start, as it will draw one or more leading cards and thus strengthen both your own and your partner's hands; with both Cinch and Pedro in your hand and highest trump lead, or played by your partner, play your Cinch, as THE LAWS OF CINCH. 29 the play of the Pedro on your partner's lead should be accepted as evidence that the Cinch is not in your hand. When second player, with one or both 5- spots in your hand and inferior trump or off-suit led by first player, play your Cinch or Pedro and trust the trick to your p8.rt- ner. After a few games a good player can become en rapport ^Nilh. his partner's method of play, and govern himself accordingly. In support of the lead of an off-suit, after the lead of an Ace or as the first lead, take the following hand: '* CLUBS trumps; deal anywpiere." x\ — Ace, King, Queen Clubs and three cards of other suits. Y— 10, 8, 6, 5, 3 Clubs and Cinch. B — Knave, 9, 7 Clubs and three cards of any other suit. Z — 4, 2 Clubs and four cards of any other suit. 30 THE LAWS OF CINCH. If A leads his trumps successively, A and B can make but 3 points; if A leads trumps twice and then leads an o:ff-suit, A and B can make but 4 points. If, however, A leads trumps and then an off-suit, B's hand being properly played, A and B make 9 points, and if A's first lead is an off-suit, 14 points will be made by them. In like manner, suppose ^'CLUBS trumps; deal anywhere." A — Ace, 7, 6, 4 Clubs and two other cards of any kind. Y — King, Queen, Knave, 10, 5 Clubs and Cinch. B — 9, 3 Clubs and four other cards of any other suit. Z — 8, 2 Clubs and four other cards; or, A — King, Queen, 6, 3 Clubs and any other two cards. Y — Ace, Knave, 10, 9, 5 Clubs and Cinch. B — 8, 4 Clubs and four other cards. THE LAWS OF CINCH. 31 Z — 7, 2 Clubs and any other four cards. If A has bought the trump for 6 or 7, his only possible hope to make his bid would be by leading an off-suit as first lead. If Z held one of the 5-spots and Y one less trump, the result would be the same; or if Z one 5-spot and three trumps, or two 5 and two other trumps, the play would be the same — so that where the buy- ing side has but six trumps against their opponent's seven, an off-suit lead is at all times the safest. If your partner holds a 5-spot, your Ace is always sure of 6 points, whether led or not, and his first play conveys information on that score — if, for instance, on your off- suit lead your partner declines to head the trick, the inference is that he has no trump high enough, or has both 5-spots in his hand, and you can govern your play accordingly; if on the other hand he heads the trick, the inference is certain that he 32 THE LAWS OF CINCH. has not both the 5-spots in his hand, or is all trumps, and in many cases his return lead will convey to you the desired infor- mation, whether he has any 5 or not. With the amount bid safe in hand, it is often the best play to be aggressive and lead trumps; but with 7 or more bid and but three trumps or less, it can be safely assumed that in nearly all cases the off- suit lead is the wisest plan of action. Of course, w^ith a partner that does not under- stand the game, no rules for proper play can be laid down, but you must play your own hand as the emergency demands. Away back in the early part of the sev- enteenth century, when Whist was in its infancy, a short treatise on the rules and laws of the game was published anony- mously, and when Edmond Floyle ac- knowledged the authorship he became famous the world over, and though he has been dead over a hundred years, and the THE LAWS OF CINCH. 33 original treatise lost in the revised and unabridged works of modern authorities, he is still referred to by a large majority of people as the present standard author- ity on not only cards but all games, and "according to Hoyle" has become one of the necessar}^ phrases of the times. A closer study of the different leading games of cards has resulted in extensive and exhaustive analytical works, and the best soon becomes the acknowledged authority. ETIQUETTE. In laying down any rules on the etiquette of Cinch, we cannot do better than to fol- low the etiquette of Whist as laid down by Cavendish, and as the future of Cinch will develop it as a co-equal of Whist, there is no reason why as much respect should not be paid to all its surroundings. Cavendish says: The following rules be- long to the established Etiquette of Whist. 34 THE LAWS OF CINCH. They are not called laws, as it is difficult — in some cases impossible — to apply any penalty to their infraction, and the only remedy is to cease to pla}^ with partners who habitually disregard them: Any one having the lead and several winning cards to play, should not draw a second card out of his hand until his part- ner has played to the first trick, such act being a distinct intimation that the former has played a winning card. No intimation whatever, by word or gest- ure, should be given by a player as to the state of his hand, or of the game. A player who desires the cards to be placed, or who demands to see the last trick, should do it for his own information only, and not in order to invite the atten- tion of his partner. No player should object to refer to a by- stander who professes himself uninterested in the game, and able to decide any dis- THE LAWS OF CINCH. 35 puted question of facts; as to who played any particular card, etc., etc. It is unfair to revoke purposely; having made a revoke, a player is not justified in making a second in order to conceal the first. Until the players have made such bets as they wish, bets should not be made with bystanders. Bystanders should make no remark, neither should they by word or gesture give any intimation of the state of the game until concluded and scored, nor should they walk around the table to look at the different hands. No one should look over the shoulder of a player against whom he is betting. The Chicago Cinch Club, P. O. Box 548, Chicago, III.